November 20, 2023

Here’s Why The Black Family Behind Gracie’s Corner Isn’t Worried About AI

Gracie's Corner

A Black family designed the web series Gracie’s Corner to provide engaging and educational information to Black children through entertainment and music.

In a recent interview with The Dig, they shared why they aren’t worried about the impact of AI and children’s education.

Culturally Relevant Digital Education

A report found that young Black students had increasingly reported their feelings of unwantedness in their academic spaces and the toll of energy they must exert to feel safe in these spaces.

In 2020, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the demand for schools to transition into digital classrooms, questions of accessible and culturally relevant digital education content for Black students.

Due to this, husband and wife duo Javaris Hollingsworth and Arlene Gordon Hollingsworth decided to create Gracie’s Corner as they noticed their children had difficulty finding culturally relevant content to watch on TV or online during homeschooling.

Gracie’s Corner

The web series is set apart with its innovative use of Black animation, celebrating diversity and inclusivity while fostering a love for learning in young kids.

In Gracies Corner episodes, children embark on an adventure led by a diverse cast of animated characters and voices, guiding them through the fascinating world of numbers and letters.

It offers culturally relevant remixes to old-time nursery rhymes and original new songs like “I Love My Hair,” encouraging children to be proud of their natural hair no matter the style.

Hollingsworth’s daughter, Graceyn, is the voice of Gracie and the main character in the series, which has gained over two million subscribers on YouTube, 500,000 followers on TikTok, 400,000 on Instagram, and 200,000 on Facebook.

Black EdTech

During National Distance Learning Week, Symone Campbell and Amy Yeboah Quarkume presented an opportunity to continue discussions on the lack of culturally relevant digital educational content for Black students.

When speaking with the Hollingsworths, they described being a Black family in tech has had challenges, including the fast-paced technological changes.

Gracies Corner

“Of course, now one of the biggest things is AI and all these other new technologies that are constantly being developed. Just trying to make sure that we’re staying up to do,” they said.

The duo’s future goals include getting on to a network that broadcasts locally for those who can’t afford subscriptions and also have their content on DVDs.

As AI and technology face growing concerns about protecting Black women, girls, and families, the pair stated they always aim to be intentional and mindful of the images they put out.

“I feel like with our content, it really does come from a special place where we try to capture and represent the Black community honestly,” they stated.

“I feel like we see ways where AI or even people try to do their rendition or version of it, but I feel like the Black community itself we’re really good at detecting something that’s not authentic.”

The family has plans to translate the videos into different languages, such as Spanish, Swahili, and many others.

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.